Biden wants to nominate an African-American woman for the Supreme Court

Status: 01/27/2022 9:25 p.m

US President Biden wants to nominate a black woman for the Supreme Court for the first time in US history, thereby fulfilling a campaign promise. The successor to constitutional judge Breyer should be clarified by the end of February.

After the announced resignation of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, US President Joe Biden wants to nominate a black woman for the post on the US Supreme Court for the first time. “I think that’s long overdue,” Biden said in the White House. He hasn’t made a decision yet, but wants to announce the nomination before the end of February.

His candidate will be someone with “outstanding qualifications, extraordinary character, experience and integrity,” said the US President. “And that person will be the first black woman ever to be nominated to the US Supreme Court.”

The black judges Ketanji Brown Jackson, J. Michelle Childs and Leondra Kruger were among the favorites in the first talks, the AP news agency reported, citing informed circles.

constitutional judge for life

In the US, constitutional judges are nominated by the President and must then be confirmed by the Senate. Biden’s Democrats have a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, but they could lose it to Republicans in November’s congressional elections.

The powerful court plays a central role in the institutional structure of the USA. With its decisions on particularly controversial issues such as abortion, immigration or same-sex marriages, the US Supreme Court repeatedly sets the course for US society. The nine judges are appointed for life. Their selection is therefore a highly competitive political process.

Conservative majority on the Supreme Court

Biden expressed “the gratitude of the nation” to Judge Breyer, 83, saying, “He is an exemplary public servant at a time of great division in this country.” Breyer’s departure allows Biden to fill a seat on the politically contested Supreme Court for the first time since taking office.

The personnel does not change the conservative majority at the court, but is politically of great importance. Ex-President Donald Trump and his Senate Republicans were able to place three Supreme Court justices during Trump’s tenure, which is why six of the nine justices are currently considered conservative.

US institutions should reflect society

Breyer – currently the oldest of the nine judges – is attributed to the liberal camp. He appreciates compromise, is considered a moderate mediator and leans more to the left. He was once nominated by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The current Supreme Court is Clarence Thomas, an African American, and Sonia Sotomayor, a Latina. Biden had already promised during the election campaign that if there was a vacancy, for the first time in history he would nominate a black woman as a judge on the Supreme Court. With his personnel policy, he wants to ensure that the heads of the institutions also reflect the ethnic diversity and the diversity of the United States.

Breyer: Retired after 28 years of service

Breyer had officially announced that he would retire by the summer after nearly 28 years on the Supreme Court. In a letter to Biden published by the court, the judge said he assumes that a successor will be nominated and confirmed by the Supreme Court’s summer recess in late June or early July.

It was “a great honor” for him to contribute as a judge to ensuring that the constitution and the rule of law were upheld.

Democrats want to check personnel immediately

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing as soon as Biden is nominated. The chamber will examine and confirm the personnel at the appropriate pace. To do this, Biden’s Democrats in the Senate only need a simple majority, which is possible if they act as one.

However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter that he expects the Democrats to stand together on this person.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell thanked Breyer for his services. At the same time, he appealed to Biden to nominate a candidate from the center. “The President must not outsource this important decision to the radical left,” McConnell said. “The American people deserve a candidate who respects the written text of our laws and our Constitution.”

Trump made Barrett a constitutional judge

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September 2020 at the age of 87 from complications from cancer. The death of the liberal justice icon a few months before the presidential election that year had sparked fierce political battles.

Trump and the Republicans absolutely wanted to fill the vacant seat before the election and went through the process of confirming their successor, the conservative lawyer Amy Coney Barrett, at high speed – against great resistance from the Democrats. Since then, the Conservatives have held the dominant majority of six of the nine seats on the court.

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